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Newton’s Second Law of Motion

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Newton's Second Law

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Lesson Focus

Newton’s Second Law of Motion


Learning Made Easy

Students are introduced to Newton’s second law of motion. In an experiment, students manipulate force and motion and observe their effects on the speed of an object.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Explain that the speed of an object changes when constant force is applied.
  • Predict that the speed of an object will change faster as greater force is applied.
  • Predict that using the same force, objects with greater mass tend to change speed more slowly.

Everything You'll Have Covered

Sir Isaac Newton was born in England in 1643. He was knighted by Queen Anne in 1705. Newton died in 1727and was buried in Westminster Abbey in London, an honor reserved only for the most esteemed British subjects. He was a man of many talents, investigating physics, mathematics, astronomy, natural philosophy, alchemy, and theology. He is considered one of the most influential men in human history because of his work in science and mathematics. Newton even built the first practical reflecting telescope.

Of all Sir Isaac Newton's ideas and accomplishments, he is probably best known for his laws of motion. Newton's first law of motion states, "An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced force." This law is often called the law of inertia. This Activity Object explores Newton's second law of motion, which states, "The acceleration of an object depends on the net force acting on that object and on the mass of that object." Mathematically, this law is often expressed as Force = mass x acceleration. In his third law of motion, Newton stated that "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 20 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts acceleration, force, motion, speed
Course Physics
Type of Tutorial Experiment
Key Vocabulary 3D, experiment, force